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Bound for College

Every child deserves a life grounded in dignity and peace - this is our motto. Since the beginning of the war, children from Ukraine have had no decent life, no peace, and no opportunity to receive a decent education. Understanding this, we help high school graduates to prepare documents for admission to colleges in America. These five students will soon travel to Romania to take the English proficiency exam IELTS. ( Thank you First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, NM for your financial support in making this happen)

Zhenya Mikhailova, here with her mother and brother has been purposeful and persistent in getting an education. She is interested in linguistics. In addition to knowing Ukrainian and Russian, she takes courses in Polish, German and English, and is engaged in choreography. Zhenya grows up in a single-parent family with a brother whom she helps with his studies (he has dyslexia), and his mother Alena. Alena is a tennis coach who also runs our sports center and leads a group with children with developmental disabilities - autism and Down syndrome.

- This is Andrey Shishkin with his mother Alla from Mariupol. From a destroyed city, he has again found a peaceful life, home, school, friends and favorite hobbies. Andrey is a hardworking, responsible, calm young man. He loves to read, and is interested in mathematics, information technology and programming. He takes care of his mother to the best of his ability. Alla’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Now she is fighting this terrible disease and dreams that one day her son will not hear the sounds of the air raid.

Dasha Butenko with her mother and younger sister Varya came from the Donetsk region. Their family was affected by the war back in 2014, when they had to urgently leave their hometown due to hostilities. Creative, musical girls, with the support of their mother, try to realize their abilities even in wartime. Dasha dreams of getting an education in the theater field; she loves to sing in English, dance and reads a lot.

Yana Kramarets, together with her mother Yulia and younger brother Maxim, came to Izmail from the Kherson region. The family survived the difficult months of Russian occupation, evacuation under bombing, and with great difficulty, they were recently able to evacuate their grandmother from the combat zone. Yana’s dad is a soldier in the Ukrainian army, one of our heroic defenders. Yana loves to play sports, reads a lot and started learning to play the guitar in our music club.

Nastya Leshina is 17 years old; her family is from Kherson. A city that survived a long occupation and now struggles daily for life under constant bombing. Nastya's dad is also fighting for his life - he is undergoing treatment for oncology. Mom Katya is desperately trying to provide her family with everything necessary for life, she works and studies in college - she is getting a second education so that she can get a better-paid job. Nastya helps her younger brother with speech development (the boy’s impairments began after stress from Russian missile attacks), plays sports and dreams of resuming dancing classes.


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